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10th anniversary of Birds of North America Online

Chris Merkord

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Dynamic reference stays current with the latest science.  Ten years have gone by since the Birds of North America went online, transforming an 18-volume, 18,000-page library reference into a dynamic, constantly updated, multimedia-enriched resource accessible to everyone.
Researchers, wildlife professionals, conservationists, teachers and bird watchers use BNA Online for definitive life history information and the latest science on more than 700 bird species that breed in the United States (including Hawaii) and Canada.  “One of the key advantages of BNA Online is that it grows and changes as needed,” said editor Alan Poole. “Dozens of species accounts are updated each year. You just can’t stay that up-to-date in print.” 
BNA Online was launched by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in September 2004 and has been growing ever since. During the past year, more than 230,000 unique visitors came to the site from 190 countries. There are currently more than 375 libraries, government agencies, and conservation related organizations subscribed.  Accounts are typically written by recognized experts on the species. Aside from information on identification, habitat, distribution, breeding, and behavior, each account includes sound, images, maps, video, and a bibliography for additional reference.
New features coming to BNA Online include:

  • Expanded range maps with migratory routes and population distributions,
  • Links to real-time bird data using the eBird online checklist program showing species ranges throughout the year,
  • Improved display of photos and videos. 

Subscribers can sign up for a year or more of access or pay as little as $5.00 to gain access for a month—great for researching school papers or for learning about a new species you’ve just seen. A year’s subscription to BNA Online is $42.00. Cornell Lab members receive a discount.
To learn more about BNA Online and to subscribe either as an institution or as an individual, visit http://www.birds.cornell.edu/bna.

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